Bid farewell to the January blues by escaping to a far-flung land. For the sun worshippers among you, the beach resorts of the UAE and Maldives promise to deliver. India offers pleasant weather for a sight-seeing extravaganza, while Iceland is a magical winter wonderland waiting to wow you.

Below are our top picks for where to travel in January.

India

Warm days but not too hot

India offers a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses, where busy cities are abuzz with people and the hum of rickshaw horns fill the air. But delve beneath this frenetic exterior and you’ll find a charming and deeply spiritual country. You’ll be welcomed by friendly locals who will treat you to the finest hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine, while the wealth of forts, palaces and temples to explore is unmatched almost anywhere in the world. India in January boasts cooler and crisper weather; perfect for busy days spent exploring these captivating sights.

The Maldives

January almost guarantees dry weather

An alluring archipelago of over 1,000 ancient coral islets spread out like glittering gems across 500 miles in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is paradise found. With private islands, endless infinity pools, incredible dining options and villas that stand alone on stilts in the sea, there's no doubt these relaxed, barefoot islands are the perfect antidote to the busy schedule of the festive season. We love these idyllic islands at any time of year, but January is among the best months to visit – the weather in the Maldives in January is consistently warm with very little rain.

Iceland

Good chance of seeing the northern lights

A land of fire and ice, Iceland is mysterious, magnetic and unlike anywhere else on Earth. Hike across impressive icescapes, marvel at erupting geysers, and roam the wilderness on a husky-drawn sled. And the ultimate antidote to all this adventure? Renew body and mind as you soak in the mineral-rich waters of a thermal lagoon. Winter in Iceland brings snow in abundance, along with the real star of the show, the Northern Lights. Travel to Iceland in January for a chance to see this mystical natural phenomenon dancing overhead.

UAE

The ultimate winter sun destination

The United Arab Emirates is a country of contrasting elements, from the glamour and exuberance of its cities to the wide-open swathes of desert. January in the UAE is perfect – with an estimated 350 days of sunshine per year, winter sun doesn’t come much more guaranteed than this. Known for its luxury resorts, high-end dining and impressive skylines, this is the place to be in January to soak up some much-needed vitamin D in unquestionable style. If you think the UAE isn’t for you, give us a chance to re-frame your perspective.

Oman

The scenery is especially beautiful & the weather is cool

Oman is perfect for some winter sun in a laid-back atmosphere with some of the best food and service in the Middle East. There is so much to do in Oman from relaxing by a sparkling pool to paragliding over rugged mountains or snorkelling just off a golden beach. Temperatures fall to 25 degrees in January so you can enjoy all Oman has to offer without having to retreat to your room when the temperature gets too hot.

Thailand

Warm & dry weather

It's been a firm favourite with travellers for decades and with white sand beaches, spectacular national parks and an array of cultural delights, it's not hard to see why. From north to south, east to west, there's always a new corner of Thailand to uncover. No destination is off-limits in January but this is a particularly good time to visit Phuket as the azure waters are especially calm and welcoming, and the diving is out of this world.

Cape Town, South Africa

Excellent weather and summer fun

Cape Town is an excellent place to welcome in the new year. This cosmopolitan city hosts fun and it's also an excellent time to try some of South Africa's signature sparkling wine, Method Cap Classique. Once you've explored this vibrant city you can make your way up South Africa's stunning coastline and along the Garden Route. January is the warmest time of the year and is also the wet season in South Africa. You can expect summer rainstorms in places such as Kruger National Park and along the East Coast. The scenery in Kruger bursts into green during the wet season and this is one of the best times of year for birding.

Baja California, Mexico

Best time to see whales & whale sharks

Baja California takes you off-the-beaten-path to explore the traditional culture, history and culinary scene of this desert peninsula, while in search of magnificent blue Whales and vast whale sharks. This is a great place to spy Blue Whales as most of the world’s population meet here between December and April to socialise, mate and give birth.

Sri Lanka

During Sri Lanka's dry season

Sri Lanka may be relatively small but there's lots to do. Serene beaches, ancient Buddhist cities, emerald tea plantations and dense national parks are amongst her many highlights. Temperatures reach a balmy 30°C and there is very little rain so you can expect plenty of beach days when you're not seeking out elephants or soaking up the stunning views at Sigiriya. Wildlife, history, culture, beach...this destination ticks all the boxes.

Barbados

A romantic winter sun destination

Barbados is a great antidote for the winter blues; there’s plenty to enjoy, from stately homes and top-class restaurants to more than 1,000 rum bars and the wild waves of the east coast. In Barbados you need never stop having fun, whether it’s catching some horse racing at the Garrison Savannah track or dancing to “oldie goldies” at Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry. This island is a place where couples can have a ball and families will find it easy to slot in.

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